Oscar de la Renta Essential Luxuries and a giveaway

Doesn’t it aggravate you to hear about a fragrance or collection and not have any way to sample it, save for buying an entire bottle unsniffed? And I just can’t do Oscar de la Rentathat, although I know some of you have braved those waters with varying degrees of success. Of course, there are always splits, but I’ve never done one. I’ve been seeing the Oscar de la Renta Essential Luxuries collection on Saks dot com for some time now and several of them looked interesting. But there was no venue for sampling it that I could find. I figured that perhaps this six-scent group wasn’t well enough known for the decant services to have them; my local Saks Fifth Avenue isn’t carrying them; and there’s not an Oscar boutique anywhere near me.

However, thanks to the kind folks at Oscar de la Renta, I’ve been able to try a bit.

While all of them were nice and obviously well-done fragrances, several really piqued my interest, tickling my nose and saying, “Try me again, please!”

One of those was Oriental Lace. The info on this, per the Saks Web site: “A daring, dark oriental laced with gourmand nuances that embody the opulent textures in Oscar de la Renta’s celebrated runway collections. The fragrance unfolds to a warm, inviting blend of the unique hoya carnosa flower with hints of honey and bitter almond surrounded by dark cacao and patchouli for a mysterious, delectable treat.”

I’m not familiar with the hoya carnosa flower the ad copy mentions, and I don’t know about “mysterious,” but this is an interesting scent: warm, a tad floral, and slightly gourmand, yet not tipping too far over onto the dessert plate, at least on my skin. For a moment, it reminded me a bit of Chanel Coromandel, except sweeter, less dry and with considerably less patchouli.

I shouldn’t say this, because I know how divisive Angel can be, but this struck me as how I would have liked the Thierry Mugler scent to smell. The Oriental Lace has chocolate and patchouli to be sure, but takes a different path — softer, more creamy, without the nose-searing potential of Angel. But even though it’s several notches down in intensity, it could veer into overwhelming territory if you got too happy with the sprayer. One spritz on one wrist was enough for me, but then I am notorious for under-application.

After a short bout of springlike weather here and now back into the chilly temps, this scent hit the spot one cool, gray afternoon.

As I mentioned above, several others in this Oscar de la Renta collection also caught my interest, but that’s for another day.

Anyhoo, I’ve gotten my mitts on some more Oriental Lace, so I will give away sample vials of it to three Posse peeps. If you’re interested, please leave a comment. I’ll put your names into one of my big straw hats and let my son close his eyes, reach in and pick the winners. If you don’t want to be entered, just mention NDFM (no draw for me) in your comment.

Available at Oscar de la Renta boutiques, Saks Fifth Avenue (online and select stores, but not certain which ones); 3.4-ounce EDP spray, $150. I just noticed that the line is also now available online at Neiman Marcus, same price and size, but my store doesn’t carry it, and isn’t likely to, says my friendly NM sales associate.

  • MichelleU says:

    Sounds like a very interesting combination and it is a perfume worth testing! ^_^

  • Vicky says:

    The bottle looks really good and I am sure it smells great as well. I have tried some Oscar de la Renta perfumes before and most of them smells good. I would love to try this one!

  • Thora_W says:

    I would love to have a sniff. 🙂

  • Datura5750 says:

    Sounds like heaven, please enter me!

  • Lotta says:

    Bitter almond and patchouli, My alley definetly.. So please add me to the draw! 🙂
    Would love a recommendation for other scent with almond notes!

  • meg says:

    I’d love to try this out!

    I’ve bought a few things un-sniffed and have, somehow and luckily, ended up with winners. Of course, I limit this to companies, perfumers, and combinations of notes I’ve liked in the past, and never with something too terribly expensive.

    My recent spring weather turned into a giant dumping of snow, so Oriental Lace sounds lovely right about now. 🙂

  • Barbara says:

    Sounds perfect to me. Thanks for the opportunity!

  • Poodle says:

    I’d love to try this. Thanks for the draw.

  • Civet says:

    Sounds interesting! I love anything with notes of honey and almond.

  • Elia says:

    I respect Angel and like Oscar de la Renta so it sounds interesting already.

  • Phanie says:

    I would be very happy if I had the chance to try this new Oscar de la Renta fragrance
    Thank you for giving us this opportunity

  • Kandice says:

    Would love to try this as well. I’ve loved some of Oscar’s earlier scents and would like to see how these compare. Thanks for the chance!

  • Dina C. says:

    Dear Ann,
    NDFM — This one doesn’t sound like it’s my cup of tea. But I just wanted to weigh in and say, yes, it is very frustrating to go hunting for new releases and not be able to find things that you want to sniff. I’m lucky to live in a metropolitan area, close to Nordies, Saks, NM, Chanel, Hermes, and other high end boutiques. But I still have problems. Case in point: My NM doesn’t carry any of the Ramon Monegal (am I spelling that right?) line yet. They’ve got lots of stuff online that they don’t carry in store like all the L’Artisans, too. I usually just wait until the item is in wide release, but sometimes I buy samples.

  • CC ... says:

    Sounds lovely. Definitely under the radar for me. Would love to be included in the draw. Thank you!

  • susan says:

    NDFM! I have a sample of this one. I’ve been loving this whole collection, which is seemingly not on anyone’s radar. I have a blog post about one of these fragrances in the queue for tomorrow. 🙂

  • MariaA says:

    Me me me!!!!You had me at dark oriental laced with gourmand nuances !! Must be gorgeous!

  • Claudia D. says:

    I’d love a chance to try this. Many thanks for the draw! 🙂

  • maggiecat says:

    I love trying new scents, and, like you, I find it very frustrating when I can’t find or acquire them. This sounds interesting, and I’d love to try it.

  • solanace says:

    Sounds interesting… Thank’s!

  • I would be a very happy camper to try this Oscar de la Renta perfume…
    Thanks for the chance!

  • Milena says:

    The bottle is so elegant! I hope the perfume too and I would like to try it.

    Thank you, Ann!

  • wefadetogray says:

    I absolutely cannot stand Angel after 5 minutes on my skin but I do love my Coromandel. I’d love to try Oscar de la Renta’s perhaps more wearable rendition of Angel 🙂
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Beth says:

    Ann, you are so sweet with the sample giveaways! I, like many others here, do not have access to Saks, Nordstroms, Neiman Marcus, etc. Don’t get me on the subject, it makes me so angry. They think we don’t appreciate high end, when in actuality, we all drive to Chicago or Detroit. GRRRR.

    I really should give Angel a fair try. I adore Coromandel, but really only smell the sprayer on the Angel bottle and walk away. It’s so so sweet.

  • Merlin says:

    Oriental – and gourmand? Pant, pant, pant…

  • Mary K says:

    Please include me in the drawing! This sounds lovely and it would be just the thing to brighten up the days right before actual spring-like temperatures come along!

  • shaney says:

    Oooooh, I love the idea of a toned-down, creamier, softer Angel! I do love, love, love Coromandel. Thank you for the draw!

  • lucasai says:

    Sounds good! I would like to try it! 🙂

  • Sherri says:

    Good morning everyone! Please don’t enter me in the draw, but I just wanted to add that I too, had difficulty obtaining samples of the Essential Luxuries collection. I went to OdlR website and sent a message asking where I could purchase samples. I received a very gracious email in return, and they did send samples of Oriental Lace and Mi Corazon. I don’t know if they have a limit on free samples or if they simply didn’t have any of the others available at the time, so it may help to tell them which specific fragrances you are interested. It’s worth a try–they were very gracious overall.

  • Interesting review! I’d like to sample it. : )

  • Maureen says:

    I would love to try this fragrance. I love Angel on others, but it just feels too much for me…maybe this one would work for me.
    Pleae enter me, thanks for the draw.

  • Dana says:

    Sounds like my kind of scent. I saved all my babysitting money to buy the original Oscar from the late 70’s and I loved it. Would love to try this. Thanks!

  • fleurdelys says:

    Mmm, I love me a warm oriental! Please enter me in the draw, and thanks!

  • hotlanta linda says:

    Anything w/ Lace sounds good to me~ thank you for the review!! 🙂

  • Mary says:

    Pick me! I want to love Angel but it’s like an ice pick stuck in my smeller. Coromandel is a little too dry, and I would love
    To try this.

  • Connie says:

    I may need to bribe your son 🙂 This sounds pretty great.

  • I would love to try this one. I took a chance on a full bottle of Esprit de Givenchy and liked it a lot.

  • kal says:

    The honey/almond/cacao/patchouli combo sounds great! Thank you for giving us the chance to try this out Ann 🙂

  • Magdalena says:

    Oh my, Oriental Lace – ever since I’ve read about it on fragrantica.com, I’ve been intrigued. It sounds so delicious. But yup – no luck finding samples.

  • Fatima says:

    Angel works for me, but this sounds like it might even be better. I would really like to try it.

  • Audrey H. says:

    I like Angel from afar but not on my skin. One of my current favorites is the lovely Esprit dOscar, would love to try this one. Thanks gor the draw.

  • RuthF says:

    That sounds beautiful, I’m not sure about the name though! I would love to try it, thanks for the draw 🙂

  • zeram1 says:

    Sounds great. Please enter me in the draw.

  • Elena says:

    This sounds intriguing, as I love Angel on a friend but can’t wear it at all.

  • Devon H says:

    Pick me! Lol. You had me at “what Angel should have smelled like.” Now I must try it! Thanks for the draw 🙂

  • eldarwen22 says:

    Ever since decants, I haven’t bought a bottle of perfume unsniffed in forever. It has always driven me crazy that I live in the middle of nowhere and the nearest mall to me is one that I don’t want to walk out into the parking lot and find that my car was stolen. The other malls closest to me really like to push the latest celeb scent. This sounds like something I would wear.

  • Fumed Hands says:

    Count me in for the draw!!!

  • Cecilia says:

    This one sounds interesting. Enter me in the draw. 🙂

  • Jan Last says:

    Count me in! Would love to get a full line of the samples (5ml or more, Oscar), which I could purchase. Doesn’t it make you crazy to not have immediate access??

  • Ninara Poll says:

    Pretty much about 90 to 95% of what I read about on ‘fume blogs are unavailable to me (I live in the middle of nowhere!) unless I do paid decants, and quite honestly, right now, between being unemployed (short on money) and being naturally timid about buying items unsniffed, I’m just too scared to try a blind buy. The contests here and on NST have been lifesavers for me 🙂 I’m one of those freaks of nature on whom Angel seems to work, and I LOVE de la Renta’s early perfumes and his fashion line, so hopefully luck sees fit to shine on me again! Thank you for having this draw 😀


    • Ann says:

      Oh, Ninara, so sorry to hear that! I, too, was unemployed for nearly two years, so I definitely feel your pain. Just hang in there; it might take time, but I’ve found that everything usually works out for the best. A great job for you will fall into your lap, sometimes when you least expect it.
      Glad to see another ODLR fan here — I liked his original, too, as well as the Esprit, and have always loved his beautifully elegant clothing.

  • Janet says:

    Love Coromandel, hate Angel. I would love to try this and hope for the best! Isn’t that what we always do, dream that this will be fabulous?

  • Tiara says:

    The only Saks in this area is downtown which means a major hassle unless I’m already down there for something else. Sadly, there isn’t a NM anywhere close to here and our Nordstrom’s has a pitiful perfume department, although it’s getting better. Very frustrating! A little Angel goes a long way which means I am very careful when applying so something less powerful would be lovely. I agree with Angelique about the use of oriental these days-gets confusing!

    • Ann says:

      Tiara, I agree — it is frustrating. It’s hard to try something in particular when there are more and more new releases coming out, vying for the same (or even less) floor space in the stores. As for the fragrance terms, when something is billed as an oriental, chypre, etc., I pretty much take it with a grain of salt.

  • Red says:

    Come on Sonny, bring your hands to pick up my name.. I’d love to win, Count me in please? Thank you.

  • FeralJasmine says:

    I love the sound of this one. Please do enter me in the draw.

  • hajusuuri says:

    I would like to try for this as well. The beauty floor at the Saks flagship in NYC store is huge and when I was there recently, no one was hawking wouldyouliketotryasampleofthenewOscardelaRenta squirt squirt so I did not bother looking for them.

    • Ann says:

      Oh, I can imagine! Who knows if it was even there (although you’d think it would be in that store, if nowhere else). Out of all the other brands Saks is selling, I can see that this range might have gone under the radar somewhat.

  • Mary P. Brown says:

    I would love to try this, I am a big fan of the gourmands. I haven’t tried Coromandel yet, but I have tried Angel which is actually really nice on my skin. Thanks for the review!

    • Ann says:

      Mary, lucky you to be able to wear Angel well! It smells delightful on a friend of mine, but my skin just amps something in it and makes it loud and a little screechy on me. But a little dab of the body cream or lotion is quite nice.

      • Mary P. Brown says:

        Yes, I get it about it being loud and screechy, it seems that’s how it is with a lot of people who try to wear it. What I love the most about Angel on my own skin is how it evolves from moment to moment – it is just constantly bringing new guests to the table for the entire time I am wearing it. It’s never the same, so interesting…..

  • Gwenyth says:

    I would love to be entered in the draw!

    I adore Coromandel, Angel, and pretty much anything with Patchouli. Add Chocolate to the mix and I’m all over it.


    • Ann says:

      Gwenyth, the patchouli is not terribly big in this, but it does add a nice something extra to the party.

  • Claudia Strandstra says:

    Would love a chance!

  • NDFM, please.
    I do find it interesting that “Oriental” used to mean a woody/spicy scent, and it’s now being used in a different context.
    Perfume, as in language, is reformulated, but I hope we can keep the “oriental” scent category as it is. Otherwise, there’s no telling what I’ll buy.

    • Ann says:

      You’re so right. It’s a shame, in a way, that the categories these days have really gotten fluid and blurred. I mean, look at all the scents they are labeling as chypre, when very few of them really are, by any stretch of the imagination.

  • Cat Schultz says:

    Ooooh! Pick me! Pick me! Lol. Sounds delish. I’d love to try it. I like Angel but my husband finds it too strong, so this might be a great compromise.

    • Ann says:

      Hiya, Cat! Thanks for stopping by. IMHO, it’s a nice, softer way to wear the big-gun notes of Angel. It just seems more creamy and rounded to my nose, with no sharp edges.